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Swastika: Victoria bans display of Nazi symbol in Australian first

Victoria has become Australia's first state to specifically ban the display of the Nazi swastika.

Under a new law, people who intentionally exhibit the symbol face up to a year in jail or a A$22,000 (£12,300; $15,000) fine.

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said "nobody has the right to spread racism, hate or anti-Semitism".

Like many places globally, Australia has seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents in recent times.

Victoria already has anti-hate speech laws - but they have been criticised for having "gaps".

A push for reform intensified in 2020 when a couple raised a swastika flag above their home, angering the local community.

State officials called the new legislation a "proud moment". Three other states have said they will introduce similar laws.

"The Nazi symbol glorifies one of the most hateful ideologies in history - its public display does nothing but cause further pain and division," said Victorian Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes in a statement.

There are exemptions for showing the symbol in historical, educational and artistic contexts. It can also be used in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religious contexts - as it has been for millennia.

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